FAQ - Face coverings
Effective immediately, all residents of and visitors of the Imperial County shall abide by the June 18, 2020 Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings issued by the California Department of Public Health. In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.
No, there is no fine for using an N-95 that you already have. We do, however, strongly suggest that you do not purchase an N95 if you don't already have one as they are in short supply and are critically needed for our front-line healthcare workers. The face coverings that are being required can be as simple as bandanas, scarves or made at home using different types of fabric. The CDC website has great information on how to make and maintain your own face coverings.
No, masks that have a one-way valve designed for easier breathing (the valves are often a raised plastic disk about the size of a quarter, on the front or side of the mask) One-way valves allow droplets out of the mask, putting others nearby at risk.
The order does not require people who are exercising or taking a walk outside alone to wear face coverings, but instead, focuses on when people are in public places where they cannot always remain six feet apart from others.
The order does not require people who are riding in the car with other members of their household to wear a face-covering. The order intends to prevent the spread of illness in public spaces where it is difficult to always remain six feet apart from others.
A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people are leaving their homes or places of shelter, especially in situations where you may be near people. These settings include grocery stores and pharmacies. These face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing, hand washing, or other preventive actions. Cloth face coverings are especially important to wear in public in areas of widespread COVID-19 illness.
Yes. Wearing cloth face coverings is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. CDC still recommends that you stay at least 6 feet away from other people (social distancing), frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but it may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. View CDC’s guidance on how to protect yourself.
"Face coverings," as used in the Health Officer Order, include but are not limited to, scarves (dense fabrics without holes), bandanas, neck gaiters, and other coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, can be secured with ties, ear loops, or other fasteners, and allow for breathing without restriction. Masks that have a one-way valve designed for easier breathing (the valves are often a raised plastic disk about the size of a quarter, on the front or side of the mask). Holes or one-way valves allow droplets out of the mask, putting others nearby at risk.”
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.
Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders, as recommended by CDC guidance.